It’s our second and last day in Delhi today so we were up bright and early to try and fit in as much as possible. First up was a trip to the Humayun’s Tomb which was built in 1569. As with yesterday Nick and I got stung for the tourist entry prices whilst my Dad waltzed in for just a few pence thanks to his lifetime visa. The tombs grounds were quite spectacular, they cover 30 acres and are made up of 4 main buildings housing the tombs of famous emperors. The grounds not only house Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb but are also home to other tombs including Isa Khan’s (an Afghan who fought against the Mughal’s). Interestingly, this tomb was the first to use red sandstone on such a large scale and it was the first garden-tomb built in India. At some point in history it was fascinating to think that villagers would have lived within the walls of these grounds, much of which are still in their original state today.
With the tomb behind us we began the laborious task of trying to get a tuk tuk. This is becoming really annoying now as every single driver is out to rip you off and charge 4 times what he would to a local. If they do offer us a reasonable price it’s usually just to get us in so they can insist on taking us to some shop we don’t want to go to so they can get commission. After finally agreeing on a price with a driver we were dropped off at Lodi Gardens. These gardens are free to visit and whilst they’re never going to compete with Central Park, the peace and quiet away from the constant beeping on the roads was welcomed by our ears.
The park is really interesting, it’s not often you stumble unexpectedly upon tombs when taking a stroll in the park. There’s a total of 4 tombs dotted throughout the 90 acre park grounds, the oldest of which is from 1444 and houses the body of Mohammed Shah who was the last ruler of the Sayyid Dynasty. This Dynasty ruled Delhi for 38 years until the Lodi Dynasty overruled them, hence the name of the park.
It turns out we’re in Delhi at the wrong time as in a few days it’ll be their Republic Day. In celebration of this they’re holding a parade along the Rajpath which stems between the prime minister’s home and India Gate. We did plan on walking along this area but unfortunately the majority of it is closed off until 27th January. We were allowed in a small area in front of the prime ministers home though which was also where India’s equivalent of the houses of parliament was. In similar fashion to the White House, you can’t get anywhere near the building for a good picture so we had to make do with peering through the gates. From what we could see though, it was like most other prime minister homes, ridiculous over sized and very grand.
We were all feeling the cold after exploring all day so we headed over to Connaught Place and were relieved to find a Costa. The cold must have been quickly forgotten for Nick and I as we were soon tucking into a brownie with ice cream on top. With some colour back in our cheeks we had a look around the shops. This area is quite upmarket and the stores are actually genuine and not selling fake items like the majority of other places! You also don’t get pounced on and nagged from the minute you enter so that was nice.
Whilst in Connaught Place, to our disbelief, we passed a Nando’s, this was the first one we had seen since we left the UK! Anyone who loves Nando’s will know how important this is 🙂 After popping back to get changed it was half chickens all round and I’m pleased to say it lived up to expectations.